Security was tightened in various cities across India to avoid possible communal conflicts during Ram Navami, which is being celebrated today (Thursday). This comes a day after a police squad in Aurangabad (renamed Sambhaji Nagar), Maharashtra was assaulted while attempting to disperse a fight between two groups.
On Wednesday (March 29) evening, a clash between two groups of young men in Aurangabad resulted in a violent confrontation, during which a police team was attacked and several of its vehicles were set ablaze.
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To prevent any communal escalation, particularly during Ram Navami and the month of Ramzan, a heavy police force has been deployed, and the situation is now deemed to be under control. The police have yet to identify the 500-600 people involved in the assault.
The incident occurred in Kiradpura, which is home to a famous Ram temple, according to Police Commissioner Nikhil Gupta.
Maharashtra | A clash broke out between two groups over playing music outside a Mosque while Namaz was going on, in Jalgaon district
Two FIRs have been registered, we've arrested 45 people so far. 4 people are injured in the violence. The present situation is peaceful and is… pic.twitter.com/EaT5WIOtwT
— ANI (@ANI) March 30, 2023
Police Commissioner Nikhil Gupta informed news agency PTI that the incident began with a clash between some youths, and a search operation is currently underway to apprehend them. The mob violence lasted nearly an hour and resulted in the destruction of six to seven vehicles, which have since been removed. No arrests have been made yet, but the police have created ten teams to apprehend those who instigated the violence.
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Videos circulating on social media show local MP Imtiyaz Jaleel, state BJP minister Atul Save, and other individuals attempting to maintain peace.
According to Jaleel, who is affiliated with Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM party, the clash between two groups of young men occurred due to certain announcements, which led to the gathering of hundreds of people on the streets and resulted in stone-pelting.
Weapons brandished in Howrah
In Howrah district of West Bengal, during a Ram Navami rally on Wednesday evening, members of Swami Vivekananda Seva Sangh were seen wielding swords and hockey sticks. The procession, which took place in Sankrail district, included several youths carrying weapons.
To avoid any unpleasant incidents, a large police force was deployed in the area. The procession covered a distance of approximately two kilometers from Rajganj Rath Tal Mela Ground to Manikpur Beltala via road. In the state of West Bengal, Hindu organizations had planned to hold processions in more than 500 locations to celebrate Ram Navami.
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While the Vishwa Hindu Parishad is gearing up for a lively Ram Navami celebration, the Hindu Jagran Manch has organized festivities in 600 places throughout West Bengal.
Riot control forces deployed in Delhi
Despite a heavy police presence, a large Ram Navami procession took place today in Jahangirpuri, Delhi. Riot control forces had been deployed in the area before the rally.
However, the police had previously denied the group’s request to hold a 5-kilometre rally in the area and asked them to limit their celebrations to a park. The group had applied for permission to hold a ‘Shree Ram Bhagwan Pratima Yatra’ in Jahangirpuri, North-West Delhi.
Last year, the same area witnessed violence during a Hanuman Jayanti procession, resulting in clashes between two communities that left eight police personnel and a local resident injured. During the clashes, stone-throwing and arson occurred, and some vehicles were set on fire.
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The police have also refused permission for prayers at a local park on Ramzan.